ISM Code

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Why the ISM Code is failing

During the 2020 SAFETY4SEA London Forum, Capt. Mark Bull, Principal, Trafalgar Navigation Limited, questioned if the ISM Code is failing, after more than 20 years since its implementation. Capt. Bull firstly provided a brief history of the ISM Code, as well as a description of the five main areas where he felt the Code has failed and went on to explain how such potential failures affect the crew. Since it was introduced; however, nobody has reviewed the Code to ensure its ongoing effectiveness, he concluded.

Safety Management 2.0: A Sea Change in Approach

During the 2019 SAFETY4SEA Athens Conference, Mr. John Southam, Loss Prevention Executive at North Club, focused on a new safety approach called Safety Management 2.0. This highlights a current problem in shipping where company’s management systems are mainly based on complex procedures alone often forgetting the human element.

As times change, we need to abandon “old school” mentality on safety

Industry insiders are for many years now, pinpointing the urgent need for seafarers to be trained as human beings and the importance of considering the underlying factors behind accidents too and it seems that in that way, we have been better thinkers. How, therefore, has the so-called human factor been considered as a symptom and not as a cause with the passage of time?

Why has navigation become unimportant?

During the 2019 SAFETY4SEA London Forum, Captain Mark Bull, Principal, Trafalgar Navigation, noted that as an industry, when it comes to navigation safety there is no industry wide leading indicator system; Surprisingly, the ISM Code does not even mention navigation.

ISM Code Implementation: The bar is set too low

It has been 30 years since the initial drafting and 20 years since the mandatory introduction and of the ISM Code. While a lot of ink has been spent around the globe, we do not have a clear structure on how to assess the effectiveness of the ISM Code and at the same time we have seen very limited reports on the subject. However, we have a clear understanding of how shipping stakeholders work and that will guide us to assess where we stand.

ISM Code is more than paper compliance

Mr. Theophanis Theophanous, Managing Director of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) Greece, highlights that mandatory implementation of the ISM code, has had an advantageous impact on maritime safety and pollution prevention.

Twenty years of the ISM code

Capt. Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention at the Standard P&I Club, addresses the ISM Code. 20 years after the Code came into effect in 1998, Mr. Vandenborn examines the course of it and what needs to be done in order to become more effective.

Vetting evolution over the last 20 years

Warwick Norman, CEO, Rightship, talked about the vetting evolution over the last twenty years at the 2017 SAFETY4SEA Conference. Capt. Norman said that the motivation for the creation of RightShip was largely a desire to improve safety standards, in particular around the cape fleet where both BHP & Rio shared a common risk.

Safety Management Systems

Sean Hutchings, Chief Technical Officer, Thome Group of Companies, noted during his presentation at the 2017 SAFETY4SEA Conference, that since the introduction of the ISM Code in the mid 90’s, there has been an increase in the number and complexity of procedures in maritime safety management systems. Mr. Hutchings explained how a SMS can be easy to navigate and understandable to serve its purpose.

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